Taxes

Do I need to pay estimated tax?

 
Do I need to pay estimated tax?Taxpayers are required to pay most of their tax obligation during the year by having tax withheld from their paychecks or pension payments, or by making estimated tax payments. Estimated tax is the primary method used to pay tax on income that isn’t subject to withholding. This typically includes income from self-employment, interest, dividends, and gain from the sale of assets. Estimated tax is used to pay both income tax and self-employment tax, as well as other taxes reported on your income tax return.
 

Generally, you must pay federal estimated tax for the current year if: (1) you expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current year, and (2) you expect your tax withholding and refundable tax credits to be less than the smaller of (a) 90% of the tax on your tax return for the current year, or (b) 100% of the tax on your tax return for the previous year (your tax return for the previous year must cover 12 months). Continue reading

Have you checked your tax withholding lately?

What's the real return on your investments?
 
If you were unpleasantly surprised by the amount of tax you owed or the amount of your tax refund when you filed your 2018 tax return, it may be time to check your withholding.
 
It may also be time if there are changes in your life or financial situation that affect your tax liability. For example, have you recently married, divorced, had a child, purchased a new home, changed jobs, or had a change in the amount of your taxable income not subject to withholding (e.g., capital gains)? Continue reading

Charitable Giving After Tax Reform

 
Charitable Giving After Tax ReformTax reform changes to the standard deduction and itemized deductions may affect your ability to obtain an income tax benefit from charitable giving. Projecting how you’ll be affected by these changes while there’s still time to take action is important.
 

Income tax benefit of charitable giving

 

If you itemize deductions on your federal income tax return, you can generally deduct your gifts to qualified charities. However, many itemized deductions have been eliminated or restricted, and the standard deduction has substantially increased. You can generally choose to take the standard deduction or to itemize deductions. As a result of the changes, far fewer taxpayers will be able to reduce their taxes by itemizing deductions. Continue reading

How can I get a tax break for child care?

 
How can I get a tax break for child care?More than 60% of children under age six in the United States have two parents in the workforce. 1Many of these working parents must spend a burdensome share of their earnings on child care, especially if they don’t have relatives who are willing and able to help out.
 
The following tax benefits may help you offset some of the costs paid for a nanny, babysitter, day care, preschool, or day camp, but only if the services are used so you can work. Continue reading

Due Date Approaches for 2018 Federal Income Tax Returns

 
Due Date Approaches for 2018 Federal Income Tax ReturnsTax filing season is here again. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to start pulling things together — that includes getting your hands on a copy of your 2017 tax return and gathering W-2s, 1099s, and deduction records. You’ll need these records whether you’re preparing your own return or paying someone else to prepare your tax return for you. Continue reading

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